Greg is my manager at the Ladies Foot Locker. He’s a little on the creepy side. 45-50 years old scrawny white dude who has a mustache, wears glasses and always talks about his mom. Oh and he also does these terrible magic tricks. This would all be pretty funny if it weren’t for Greg being a deadly serious man. He also has a peculiar habit of locking himself in the back office at work for hours at a time. He’d even had the office sound proofed or something and… yeah none of us really wanted to know just what the hell he was doing back there. It was probably something innocuous thing like sleeping or looking at porn but we’d all stand around the sales floor and try to top each other with fantasies of just what old Greg was up to back there.
One day at work a woman tripped over one of the shoe-sizers and cut up her wrist pretty bad. She was crying and screaming, so not thinking I just rushed back and accidentally busted in on old Greg right in the middle of it. He was sitting there in the dark writing furiously on several sheets of paper all at once. After a awkward, shouting exchange Greg ran out front to tend to the injured lady and I stole a glance around the office. It was just piles of handwritten sheet music. A ton of it. There was no stereo or music playing and I don’t think Greg even had any headphones on.
A week or two later at our Christmas party Greg got uncharacteristically drunk and
for one of his magic tricks
he pulled a dead rabbit out of a hat
and ran off crying.
I felt bad and wandered back into the shoe stacks to find him. He was sobbing pretty heavily when I found him.
Come to find out old Greg has a gift. When everything is completely quiet he hears a kind of music. This first happened to him when he was a kid but it had stopped around the time his parents split up. He’d forgotten all about it until one day after his mother died. He was sitting in the funeral home by himself and he heard the music again. He took classes and learned how to transcribe the music and now for the last 5 years he’d been furiously writing it all out. He went on to explain that he’d been showing it around to various musicians and scholars on the internet and some German mathematician named Hans, had shown a great deal of interest in it. Greg didn’t get into particulars but he said Hans told him that music could be transcribed into numbers and equations and the music that Greg was writing, was in short, a scientific breakthrough.
Then Greg started sobbing again. “They were just fucking with me!” he screamed. “Just some kids on the internet. They’d said they were gonna fund all my research and we’d have a big press conference…” and he just started sobbing even more uncontrollably.